Move along red wine and those hours in the gym – a recent study has found that a naturally occurring polyamine, or compound, called ‘spermidine’, found in aged cheeses, can potentially lower overall blood pressure, increase the elasticity of the Cardiac muscle cells, which in turn offers protection to your heart against cardiovascular disease that leads to congestive heart failure.
In other words, eating cheese, especially the aged variety, can potentially protect your heart and extend your lifespan, which can only be a good thing right!?
The study also concluded that the presence of this ‘spermidine’ in Mediterranean diets may be what gives it’s seemingly anti-aging edge over other diets from around the world.
“Spermidine is a polyamine found in aged cheese and many tissues,” explains Dr. Sasson Moulavi, MD and board-certified anti-aging medicine fellow at the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.
“It has been shown to act as an anti-aging, life-prolonging agent by causing damaged cells to be destroyed by the immune system—thus preventing disease.
This process is known as autophagy and is the way the body polices and prevents aging and disease.”
Before you go and start binge-eating cheese though, other research suggests that high-fat content may well counteract the effects of the spermidine, so it might be best to stick to the harder, aged varieties that typically have less fat than the softer choices out there.
Still, it’s all good news in my book – open that bottle of Cab Sav and pass the cheese knife.